2021 Word of the Year

Just a heads up readers that this blog post is going to feel a little different from the usual fare here. This is mostly some personal musings on the year that's past, the one that's coming, and the role that music plays in my internal process. So, if you're just here for the practice ideas, piano studio news, or musical projects from wonderful young musicians, feel free to skip this one. But if you are someone who is also interested in musings, and choosing a word of the year, read on. 

Choosing a word of the year is something I've started doing the past few years as a way to help frame the mindset I want to have as I head into a new year. I've found it more effective than resolutions for getting me closer to who I want to be.

Looking back at the beginning of 2020, I chose Ease. Little did I know how important that word would become as we had to collectively navigate our way through an entirely unprecedented year. And in the chaos, I did find myself coming back to ease whenever I got to a point where I was fighting or mourning a necessary change, worrying about a friend who was ill, or just feeling completely bewildered by the new normal we all had to create. Reminding myself to pause, breathe and find ease helped keep me (mostly) on the rails this past year. And often when I did turn back to ease, I would start to see the beauty of community helping each other, and the creativity in action that helped keep us safely connected to one another. 

As we head into this new year, my word for 2021 is Hope. It was not a difficult one to choose. When Christmastime came around and we started playing holiday music in the studio I found these words from O Holy Night going around in my head: 'A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.' The word hope felt extra important. Hope for a world that is in every sense of the word, weary. Hope that I'll remember some of what I learned, and keep that same sense of intentionality in our community and relationships this year.

I always find it really special when a piece of music, or even just a snippet, can make a difference like this in my thinking. For many years music has been the place I go when I need to recharge and reconnect. One of my goals as a music teacher is to help my students find a safe place, or soft place, to go in their music as well. A place that they can find and return to when they need it throughout their lives. 

All that to say, I hope that 2021 treats you well. I look forward to making music and continuing to both learn and teach within our studio community.